The British Ministry of Defence launched a tender for the procurement of up to 44 New Medium Helicopters (NMH) on May 18, 2022.
These new aircraft will replace several types of helicopters, namely the 23 Puma HC2 and the three Bell Griffin HAR2 of the Royal Air Force, and the five Bell 212s and the six Dauphin IIs of the Army Air Corps.
Four manufacturers are expected to enter the competition. Airbus has already announced its participation with the H175M, produced locally at Broughton, Wales, by Airbus Helicopters. Leonardo will offer the AW149, assembled in Yeovil, England. Two US manufacturers, Bell Textron and Sikorsky, are also likely to join, with the Bell 525 and the S-70M.
The contract, valued between £900 million and £1 billion ($1.1 billion and $1.5 billion), will help the Ministry rationalize its fleet of helicopters by using only one type, saving on both maintenance and training costs.